WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. has called for hearings to address how the Environmental Protection Agency arrived at its greenhouse gas endangerment finding.
The Office of Inspector General issued a report last week critical of EPA's policies and procedures in formulating climate change rules.
The report, by Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins, Jr., evaluated EPA's compliance with established policy and procedures in the development of the endangerment finding, including processes for ensuring information quality.
"We concluded that the technical support document that accompanied EPA's endangerment finding is a highly influential scientific assessment and thus required a more rigorous EPA peer review than occurred," a statement from the OIG says. "EPA did not certify whether it complied with OMB's or its own peer review policies in either the proposed or final endangerment findings as required.
"While it may be debatable what impact, if any, this had on EPA's finding, it is clear that EPA did not follow all required steps for a highly influential scientific assessment. We also noted that documentation of events and analyses could be improved."
The EPA responded immediately stating it strongly disagreed with the OIG's findings.
"Most importantly, the report does not question or even address the science used or the conclusions reached - by EPA under this and the previous administration - that greenhouse gas pollution poses a threat to the health and welfare of the American people," the EPA responded. "Instead, the report is focused on questions of process and procedure."
The OIG undertook the study in response to an April 2010 letter from Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
"This report confirms that the endangerment finding, the very foundation of President Obama's job-destroying regulatory agenda, was rushed, biased, and flawed," Inhofe said in a statement.
Inhofe said the EPA's endangerment finding is "no small matter."
"(G)lobal warming regulations imposed by the Obama-EPA under the Clean Air Act will cost American consumers $300 to $400 billion a year, significantly raise energy prices, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs," Inhofe said.